Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1163422
 
 

References (191)



 
 

Citations (1)



 


 



Moral Grammar and Intuitive Jurisprudence: A Formal Model of Unconscious Moral and Legal Knowledge


John Mikhail


Georgetown University Law Center

July 20, 2008

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING AND MOTIVATION: MORAL COGNITION AND DECISION MAKING, D. Medin, L. Skitka, C. W. Bauman, D. Bartels, eds., Vol. 50, Academic Press, 2009
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 1163422

Abstract:     
Could a computer be programmed to make moral judgments about cases of intentional harm and unreasonable risk that match those judgments people already make intuitively? If the human moral sense is an unconscious computational mechanism of some sort, as many cognitive scientists have suggested, then the answer should be yes. So too if the search for reflective equilibrium is a sound enterprise, since achieving this state of affairs requires demarcating a set of considered judgments, stating them as explanandum sentences, and formulating a set of algorithms from which they can be derived. The same is true for theories that emphasize the role of emotions or heuristics in moral cognition, since they ultimately depend on intuitive appraisals of the stimulus that accomplish essentially the same tasks. Drawing on deontic logic, action theory, moral philosophy, and the common law of crime and tort, particularly Terry's five-variable calculus of risk, I outline a formal model of moral grammar and intuitive jurisprudence along the foregoing lines, which defines the abstract properties of the relevant mapping and demonstrates their descriptive adequacy with respect to a range of common moral intuitions, which experimental studies have suggested may be universal or nearly so. Framing effects, protected values, and implications for the neuroscience of moral intuition are also discussed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 74

Keywords: cognitive science, moral grammar, moral heuristics, intuitive jurisprudence, legal realism, legal formalism, appraisal theory, deontic logic, tort, battery, negligence, Hand Formula, calculus of risk, unconscious inference, Kant, Savigny, Brentano, Frege, Bentham, Mill, Goldman, Terry

JEL Classification: D63, D64, K00, K13, K14

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: July 23, 2008 ; Last revised: December 29, 2008

Suggested Citation

Mikhail, John, Moral Grammar and Intuitive Jurisprudence: A Formal Model of Unconscious Moral and Legal Knowledge (July 20, 2008). THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING AND MOTIVATION: MORAL COGNITION AND DECISION MAKING, D. Medin, L. Skitka, C. W. Bauman, D. Bartels, eds., Vol. 50, Academic Press, 2009; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 1163422. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1163422

Contact Information

John Mikhail (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9392 (Phone)
202-662-9409 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 6,052
Downloads: 1,244
Download Rank: 8,103
References:  191
Citations:  1

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.312 seconds